It is believed that Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى sent more than 1,24,000 Prophets and Messengers to this world to guide mankind. However, the names of only 25 out of them are mentioned in the Quran. Prophet Hud عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ being one of them. Apart from referring to Prophet Hud by name seven times in the Quran, a complete Surah is named after him.

Hud (هُودٌ) is also written as Hood. He is sometimes considered Eber, as appears in traditions other than Islam, such as the Old Testament. However, in Islam, his name, as also mentioned in the Quran, is Hud (هُودٌ). He was a Prophet sent to his tribe known as Ad (عاد), also written as Aad. Ad were the descendants of Prophet Nuh عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ, in the fourth generation after him, the ancestral line being Ad ibn Uus Ibn Sam Ibn Nuh.

Some traditions confirm that the Prophet Hud عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ was the first Prophet who spoke Arabic. Per some other traditions, Prophet Nuh عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ and Adam عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ were also Arabic speaking. However, being a resident of Arabia, Prophet Hud’s language was most likely Arabic.

Historical Background of Prophet Hud عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ and Ad Tribe

The Ad (Aad) is considered to be the first Arabian tribe. For many years, they lived in modern-day Yemen and Oman, the southernmost part of the Arabian Peninsula. Their hometown was Ashar, situated in the valley of Mughiith.

The Ad was a prominent tribe compared to the others of that era. They were well-built and tall in stature. They were rich. They knew the art of building towers and monuments, so there were many lofty buildings in their area. That made them quite prominent amongst the other nations of that time. Their might, power, and wealth turned them into an arrogant nation, with a small group of rulers oppressing the rest of the tribe.

The might and power developed negativity in them as well. Though they were well aware of the existence of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى, they also crafted many Idols and started worshiping them. But Hud, being one of them, never worshiped any such Idol. He remained consistent with the belief in One Allah. So, he was granted Prophet-Hood, as mentioned in the 50th verse of Surah Hud:

Translation

We sent to the people of ‘Ad their brother Hud, who said: “O my people, worship God; you have no other god but He. (As for the idols,) you are only inventing lies.

A similar narration is also found in the 65th verse of Surah Al-A’raf differently:

And We sent Hud, their brother, to the people of ‘Ad. He said: “O you people, worship God, for you have no other god but He. Will you not take heed for yourselves?”

The Preaching Prophet Hud عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ

Prophet Hud عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ was the most pious person amongst his people. He consistently followed the right path of believing in the Oneness of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى. So, his first advice to the people was to stop worshiping Idols, as also mentioned in the above Quranic verses.

He consistently preached his people to believe in the Oneness of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى. Some of his preaching messages may be summarized as under:

  • Stop worshiping Idols. There is no benefit in worshiping the stones which were carved by yourself.
  • You must worship only One Allah, Who Created you and this universe. Only Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى is worth worshiping, none else.
  • Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى is the Creator, and only He is the One Who will cause you to die. All your might and wealth is from Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى. He blessed you with so many things. Hence, worshiping anyone else is a sin.
  • Prophet Hud عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ warned his people that if you do not come to the right path of worshiping only One Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى, you will have to face the same fate as that of the people of Prophet Nuh عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ.

Prophet Hud عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ hoped that his people would listen to him and follow the concept of monotheism. But only a few followed his preaching. Others argued with him that you might be trying to rule us and would be demanding money from us. The Prophet made his efforts to realize the reality of the Oneness of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى but they did not understand.

This concerted effort by the Prophet Hud عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ is narrated in the Surah Hud, verses 50 to 57:

Translation

  1. We sent to the people of ‘Ad their brother Hud, who said: “O my people, worship God; you have no other god but He. (As for the idols,) you are only inventing lies.
  2. O my people, I ask no recompense of you for it: My reward is with Him who created me. Will you not, therefore, understand?
  3. O my people, beg your Lord to forgive you, and turn to Him in repentance. He will send down rain in torrents for you from the shies, and give you added strength. So do not turn away from Him as sinners.”
  4. They said: “O Hud, you have come to us with no proofs. We shall not abandon our gods because you say so, nor believe in you.
  5. All we can say is that some of our gods have smitten you with evil.” He replied:” I call God to witness, and you be witness too, that I am clear of what you associate (in your affairs)
  6. Apart from Him. Contrive against me as much as you like, and give me no respite.
  7. I place my trust in God who is my Lord and your Lord. There is no creature that moves on the earth who is not held by the forelock firmly by Him. Verily the way of my Lord is straight.
  8. If you turn away, then (remember) I have delivered to you the message I was sent with. My Lord will put other people in your place, and you will not be able to prevail against Him. Indeed my Lord keeps a watch over all things.”

Prophet Hud Preaching Day of Judgment

The Prophet tried to make them realize the reality of life after death. They listened to the Prophet but never believed in his sayings. They argued that there would be no life hereafter. The Prophet told them that everyone would be resurrected and accounted for whatever is done in this world on the Day of Judgment. They just laughed at him and said there is no resurrection and there is no Day of Judgment. However, he continued his efforts to make them understand the reality of the Day of Judgment.

Verses 33 to 38 of Surah Al-Mu’minun narrates it as under:

Translation

  1. The chiefs of the people who did not believe and denied the life to come, though We had given them good things of this life to enjoy, (said): “He is only a mortal like you. He eats as you do, and drinks as you drink
  2. So if you follow a man like yourself you will certainly be doomed.
  3. Does he give you a promise that when you are dead and turned to dust and bones, you will be raised to life again?
  4. How far-fetched what you are promised;
  5. There is only the life of this world: We die and we live: there is no rising from the dead for us.
  6. He is just a man who invents a lie about God; we cannot believe in him.”

The Punishment Comes

While the arguments continued between the Prophet Hud عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ and his people, the behavior of the non-believers became more stubborn. The Prophet and his followers remained firm in their belief and waited for the punishment to come from Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى.

And then it started happening. The Ad faced a severe drought. Rain stopped pouring down, and trees and plants turned yellow. The scorching heat of the sun prolonged. After that, suddenly clouds started appearing. The disbelievers started mocking the Prophet. They hoped that rain would come down and all their miseries would disappear. It did happen, but in a different way, against all their expectations. A strong wind started. The weather became very cold. The wind was so strong that it shook trees and plants. The tents of the men and women also got affected by that strong wind.

This storm continued for eight days and seven nights. The people of Ad started fleeing. They took refuge in their tents but the wind ripped their tents. They tried to hide them in clothes and covers, but the strong wind slashed everything. Even their skin started cutting, killing them, and destroying their bodies.

Verses 24 and 25 of Surah Al-Ahqaf narrate it as under:

Translation

  1. So when they saw it as a cloud advancing towards their valleys, they said: “This is just a passing cloud that will bring us rain.” “No. It is what you were trying to hasten: The wind which carries the grievous punishment!
  2. It will destroy everything at the bidding of its Lord.” So in the morning there was nothing but their empty dwellings to be seen. That is how We requite the sinners.

It is also mentioned in verses 6 and 7 of Surah Al-Haqqa:

Translation

  1. And the ‘Ad were destroyed by the furious cold blast of roaring wind
  2. Which He sent to assail them for seven nights and eight days running. You should have seen the people prostrate like the decayed trunks of date-palm trees.

So, after eight days and seven nights, everything turned into ruins in that valley. Only the Prophet Hud عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ and his followers returned safely from this devastating wind storm. Once the weather returned to normal, the Prophet, along with his followers, shifted to the region known as Hadramaut, which comprises Eastern Yemen, some parts of Oman, and Saudi Arabia as today. They lived here for the rest of their life following the right path as preached by Prophet Hud عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ.

The Tomb of Prophet Hud عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ

As with most ancient Prophets, the place of burial of Prophet Hud عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ cannot be ascertained with authenticity. There are many places traditionally considered the tomb of the Prophet Hud عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ. The most popularly known place is located in the Hadramaut, commonly referred to as Qabr Hud. Another tradition says that his Qabr is near the Well of Zamzam, while others say it is situated in the Humayyad Mosque in present-day Syria.

But these are all traditions without any authentic reference. The exact site of the burial of Prophet Hud عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ is not traceable with trustworthy evidence.